XBRL US has joined up with five companies to improve the quality of financial filings in Extensible Business Reporting Language with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The five companies are Merrill Corporation, RDG Filings, RR Donnelley, Vintage (a division of PR Newswire) and Workiva Inc.

The Center for Data Quality plans to channel support through the XBRL US Data Quality Committee to address public concerns about XBRL financial data being reported to the SEC. XBRL is a global standard for exchanging business information using digital tags that facilitates understanding and oversight of corporate performance. The U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy uses XBRL data tags and is maintained by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which took over the job from XBRL US.

Barry Melancon, president and CEO of the American Institute of CPAs, also chairs the board of directors of XBRL US.

“To realize the full economic benefit of XBRL, investors and other consumers must have access to accurate and reliable XBRL data,” Melancon said in a statement last week. “This industry-funded initiative will make it substantially easier for companies to create consistent, good quality financial statements in XBRL format.”

The Center for Data Quality will channel support and action through the XBRL US Data Quality Committee to address the public’s concerns about XBRL financial data being reported to the SEC. XBRL is a global standard for digitally exchanging business information that facilitates understanding and oversight of corporate performance.

The Data Quality Committee plans to develop guidance to provide for uniform, consistent tagging of financial data and to clarify those specific circumstances where custom tags are appropriate; along with automated validation rules to detect input errors and verify compliance with the Committee’s guidance.

The committee’s validation rules will be contributed to the Arelle open source XBRL platform and will be freely available for use by XBRL software providers, public companies and others.

In addition to representatives from the founding members of the Center for Data Quality, the committee includes representatives from Bloomberg, Credit Suisse HOLT, Calcbench, CFA Institute, S&P Capital IQ, Vanderbilt University and the AICPA.

FASB will also be involved in the committee as an observer. Louis Matherne, chief of taxonomy development at FASB, said, “We are pleased to be part of this initiative, which will give the FASB insight into data quality concerns that will help us improve the U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy.”

Meetings of the committee will be open to the public, and the proposed guidance and validation rules will be released for public comment before they are approved for final publication. In addition, the committee will schedule periodic meetings to update the SEC staff on its progress.

“I am encouraged that this market-driven initiative will answer questions about the quality and usability of XBRL data,” said former SEC chairman Harvey Pitt in a statement. “The SEC’s mission to protect investors is enhanced by accurate and verifiable data that can be readily searched and understood.”

For more information, visit https://xbrl.us/data-quality.

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